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A background to building regulations in Qatar

A residential development starting in Doha

The histories of building regulations differ all over the world. In Britain, for instance, the Great Fire of 1666 saw the introduction of regulations designed to prevent a repetition of that disastrous event by requiring an early form of compartmentation together with stone construction. In Qatar the requirement for building regulations or standards were tied to the development of the State with the growth and influence of the merchants having a notable affect on their character and scope. The early years of development, essentially, post-1945, saw a burgeoning of commercial interests with the registration of ‘General Merchants and Building Contractors’, the legal title reflecting the inter-relationship of materials and the rapidly evolving building industry. Commonly, those who brought materials into the country sought to use them in the new buildings required for the growing population.

Many of the materials introduced reflected the interests and contacts of local entrepreneurs. The larger organisations associated with the oil industry imposed standards in terms of specifications, and this in turn linked many of the materials to sources in the United Kingdom where there were both accepted material standards as well as codes of practice and building regulations. The consultants and contractors who began to construct the larger developments used these as they were the regulations and standards familiar to them and to which they had to adhere for professional purposes, many of the projects being controlled by reference to Bills of Quantities.

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Poor practices and materials

More notes have been written on this subject on the page dealing with the building industry and its history in Qatar.

Generally the problem had three components: specification, the methods of construction, and supervision. Much of this had to do with a basic ignorance of sound building techniques this, in turn, being a result of obtaining labour and supervision themselves ignorant in varying degrees as well as a lack of understanding by clients, many of them their own contractors.

But there was also an issue with the importation and re-use of materials unfit for the various jobs. Again, partly this was due to a lack of understanding or experience of the suppliers, but it was also a product of the dumping of materials by less than scrupulous middlemen outside the country. At the back of all this was the desire to make a profit from what was understood locally as a burgeoning market.

The result of the initial building boom was, as you might expect, buildings that responded badly to the environmental conditions, that represented poor value for money and that did not create a good impression for the developing country.

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The beginning of standards

A building under construction in Doha

The new government structures of the latter half of the twentieth century introduced professional staff from abroad. The Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Electricity and Water had a significant impact in improving standards of construction for works both above and below ground, though they were mainly concerned with government projects. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs also had an interest in the control of building, but its standards did not keep in step with those of the previous two ministries due mainly to a lack of suitably qualified staff.

Many of the original professional staff were British and brought with them to Qatar an inherent knowledge and understanding of British standards, codes of practice and building regulations. Much of the initial infrastructural development was, therefore, installed to British Standards and specifications. This continued with many of the Government’s buildings being constructed with these standards though some new buildings that were designed by architects other than British, brought with them their own standards and specifications. As a general principle there was no problem with this approach as the standards of design and specification were coherent and covered the concerns that usually govern design and construction. The reason for this approach was simply that the State had not yet assembled a coherent set of regulations or codes, and did not yet have the staff to apply them; there was a team of inspectors at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, but they only dealt with small scale projects that were mostly private.

So, in the early stages of development there were a range of standards being applied to public and private buildings. At the same time there was no education of the contractors other than in response to market forces that – despite the ease with which property was being rented – saw an increasing division between up-market and down-market accommodation. Having said that, there are still complaints in the expatriate press relating to the standards of finish by those renting up-market accommodation.

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The administration of regulations

Fire at the Villagio complex, May 2012

When buildings incorporate any combination of issues introduced through poor design, an inappropriate selection of materials, unsupervised construction or a lack of appropriate maintenance, a number of problems can be encountered ranging from inconvenience and unwarranted costs to tragedy. The most common reflection of these issues are workers’ deaths during the construction process or, as illustrated here, fire. But it takes time for administrative systems to develop and to become effective.

Countries beginning the process of development have systems introduced from external sources dependent upon the country which first advises them. In the case of Qatar, this was the United Kingdom. Later, systems and standards were introduced from a variety of countries linked by the nationality of foreign architects working on the first major projects.

With development, the State began the process of introducing systems of control and standards, establishing, housing and equipping administrative frameworks, employing and training staff, and generally advancing the systems thought to produce better and safe working environments for those living and working in around buildings. But there are difficulties in this process. There can be advantages in adopting tried, working systems but there is a disadvantage in staffing and training people to operate within them, particularly as the amount and pace of development is likely to be very different from those under which the introduced systems operate. These, together with the different cultures from which the new staff will be drawn, introduce a different range of problems which need to be anticipated, investigated and the systems altered in order to accommodate them into the new, local working environment.

Take a simple issue, that of standards. The testing, codes and standards relating to a building product will differ from country to country. The use of that product in a foreign country might be quite different from its use in another – Qatar, for instance, perhaps its use not being suitable for a number of reasons, particularly environmental. But local agents may be able to import materials which are unsuited or even dangerous. Asbestos based products might be a case in point where there would be a financial advantage to buying up stock in Europe when those products became banned and using them in place of a more appropriate, less dangerous or environmentally sound product.

In order to counter this process the danger or unsuitability would have to be identified and measures introduced to prevent its import and use. This implies at the very least, a research capability, training and legislation and would lead on to, at least, the institution of testing laboratories, administrative systems and a more informed inspectorate in order to safeguard those within the country.

This example is only related to materials but needs to be considered from the planning of buildings through to their occupation and use. All this has been accomplished in Qatar in a relatively short time – and the work, of course continues.

Fire at the Villagio complex, May 2012

It is too early to understand what led to the tragedy of the Villagio fire, but it is worth looking at this diagram while making the point that there is likely to have been a combination of issues relating to regulations and standards leading to the disaster. Rarely is there a single cause and, because of this there is not always an easy way of preparing for a combination of events that will trigger a disaster. While the following list is not specifically related to this incident, the causes might include, but will not be limited to:

  • poor planning,
  • poor design,
  • breaches of permissions
  • errors in judgement,
  • inappropriate or poor specification,
  • poor or missing inspection,
  • lack of safety equipment or systems,
  • failure of equipment or systems,
  • poor or no maintenance,
  • lack of training,
  • lack of responsibility in individuals or organisations,
  • poor signing,
  • lack of a responsive information system,
  • and the list goes on…

The most important point to bear in mind is that the system which evolves to bring buildings into use should be the best or optimal solution to the State. This system must not stop when the building is occupied but should continue to monitor and direct in order to safeguard those who occupy it.

more to be written…

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Qatar building regulations

As mentioned on the page relating to planning in Qatar, building development in Qatar began to increase in pace after the instability within the region created by the approach to, and the consequent Second World War. Most of the development in the peninsula was centred on Doha so the nascent government created the Municipality of Qatar under Law no. 11 of 1963 with responsibility for control within four defined areas. Later in the year this title was amended under Law no. 15 to create the Municipality of Doha. Its remit covered the:

  • building process,
  • gardens,
  • public health, and
  • accounts.

This was the first stage in the production of requirements relating to the construction of buildings. It specifically required the submission of site location plans with the intent of controlling buildings through licensing, though at that time there was no effective process for enforcing either any regulations or errors in setting out building sites other than through the courts. This state of affairs continued until Qatar declared its independence in 1971 when a ministry structure was introduced, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs was established having responsibility for all municipalities in the peninsula, and the process of tightening up licensing began.

It should be borne in mind that, at the time of the 1970 Census, there were only six conurbations with over a thousand head of population – Doha, New Rayyan, Old Rayyan, al-Gharafa, al-Khor and al-Wakra with Doha by far the largest. With New Rayyan, Old Rayyan and al-Gharafa being, in effect, suburbs of Doha and, consequently, within a greater Doha conurbation, outside Doha only al-Wakra and al-Khor had populations greater than a thousand:


Population according to the 1970 Census

Doha 83,300
Old Rayyan 2,900
New Rayyan 2,900
al-Gharafa 1,100
al-Khor 1,900
al-Wakra 1,800

1972 saw the introduction of planning consultants with a remit to establish planning standards for Doha and Umm Said specifically, and the rest of the peninsula strategically, but this did not include the production of building regulations.

The United Nations report of 1997 on the implementation of Agenda 21 – a 300 page plan for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century – pointed up the lack of a coherent approach to the regulation of construction in Qatar. This they established based on a report submitted to them from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture’s Environment Department. They noted:

Decision-Making Structure: New constructions are required to take a building permit which has to be approved by the concerned Municipality, Planning Department and other service authorities including Electricity, Water and Civil Defence. A completion certificate is also required to ensure compliance with all regulations. Legislation on a number of issues has already been passed. The main ones are as follows:

  • Law No. 4 – 1985 and its amendments, related to controlling buildings.
  • Ministerial Order No. 2 – 1989, related to precautions to be taken for public safety to avoid hazards from building construction.
  • Ministerial Order No. 7 – 1989, related to technical and architectural specifications for buildings.
  • Law No 3 - 1975 and its amendments, related to commercial, industrial and public buildings.
  • Law No 8 - 1974 and its amendments, related to general cleanliness.
  • Ministerial Order No 2 - 1989, related to the transport of debris, solid and liquid waste.
  • In addition to the above legislation, the Planning Department of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture has published several planning and building regulations under the existing law giving specifications for the main development types in urban areas. These include:
  • Regulations for Flats and Flat Complexes (Draft)
  • Regulations for Villa and Villa Complexes (Draft)
  • Qatar Commercial Development Manual (Draft)
  • Planning Regulations for Residential Developments in Al Rayyan Municipality
  • Planning Regulations for Commercial Developments in Al Rayyan Municipality
  • Sub-division Regulations
  • Interim Zoning Regulation
  • The main constraints facing implementation of legislation and criteria regulating construction in urban areas can be summarized as follows:
  • The existing legislation is not comprehensive. There are still several areas for which legislation need to be enacted.
  • Lack of proper mechanisms for enforcement of existing legislation which includes lack of experienced personnel and funding.
  • Many of the regulatory documents do not have legal status.

It is apparent that the Government is in the process of ensuring that a more coherent and effective system of controls for regulating materials and building is being developed and staffed, and it is understood that a degree of equivalency will be accepted from reputable foreign authorities in order to optimise the amount of testing carried out in Qatar.

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Construction permissions

In the meantime, and in response to Law no. 16 of 2002, Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology was established with a remit to produce a set of Qatari Standards for a number of items, including building materials. This is now being implemented. In order to demonstrate how the process works, here is a schedule of the activities, timing and costs involved in the process of building a small warehouse in January 2009, reproduced with the permission of the copyright holders, the World Bank’s International Bank of Reconstruction and Development:






Obtain Planning Permission Municipality of Industrial Area The Municipality of the Industrial Area is part of the Municipality of Greater Doha. Architects apply to obtain planning permission on any working day but can receive the planning permission only on Sundays, Tuesday, and Thursdays. The cost of obtaining a planning certificate has not changed since 1998. The application to obtain a planning permission includes the below documents. These documents are usually available within the company, causing no need for further procedures to be recorded: ⏻ Ownership Certificate – The government owns all lands in Doha and leases them to private citizens. A rent payment is paid on an annual basis to the MIA. The architect should only bring the receipt of last year’s payment. This receipt is a proof that all previous payments have been made. No stamp is needed. ⏻ Land plan showing the location, area, and neighboring plots of land. ⏻ Copy of the applicants ID card. ⏻ Copy of company’s registration certificate. The planning permission includes a location clearance from the Municipality of Industrial Area, set of design guidelines for construction work from the Municipality of Industrial Area, and a land plan with site map. 3 days Qrs.100
Submit documents and obtain preliminary approval – opening of a file Municipality of Industrial Area The papers required to open a file are a copy of the owner’s ID card, owner’s letter authorising the architect and a certified copy of the land ownership document. The architect shall apply to the concerned municipality to open a file with all the above. 10 days No charge
* Obtain fire safety clearance Civil Defense Department, Uban Planning and Development Authority the law requires the Fire Department to issue permission to build a warehouse within 15 days. Usually the fire department does not take more than 15 days to issue such permissions. 14 days No charge
* Obtain clearance for road design and access Road Construction Department, Uban Planning and Development Authority The law requires the Fire Department to issue permission to build a warehouse within 15 days. Usually the fire department does not take more than 15 days to issue such permissions. 7 days Qrs.200
* Obtain clearance for power and water service delivery Kahramaa Counter in the Uban Planning and Development Authority 7 days No charge
* Obtain clearance for telecom service delivery QTEL counter in the Urban Planning and Development Authority 1 day No charge
Obtain clearance Building Permit Department, Urban Planning and Development Authority The planning permission, which was obtained in procedure 1 is added to the plans and drawings and submitted to plans and drawings section of the Building Permit Department. The Building Permit Department checks whether the drawings have been achieved according to the regulations of Qatar National Building Specifications – QNBS. The key QNBS are: ⏻ Construction cannot utilise 100% of the land area ⏻ Right to use land ⏻ Number of stories allowed in each area of Doha ⏻ Height specification for each building in Doha ⏻ The building company must seek approval from the Building Permit Department stating that the project will not affect utilities’ infrastructure. 7 days No charge
Obtain final Building Permit approval Municipality of Industrial Area The application is composed of a file showing that land rent payments have been made, the project meets zoning requirements, the Fire Department permits building the warehouse, and the Building Permit Department states that the project will not affect utilities’ infrastructure. The fees are paid in the MIA for the Building Permit issuance. Qrs.50 are paid to support the Palestinians via NGOs and charity organisations that focus on health organisations in the West Bank and Gaza. 10 days Qrs.1,351
Submit public announcement of construction project at the Municipality Municipality of Industrial Area After obtaining drawings approvals from Building Planning Department, the contractors, inspector, and owner should sign a statement showing that they fulfill requirements mentioned in Qatar National Building Specification. 1 day No charge
Receive electrical inspection from kahramaa and obtain proof of testing of electrical networks certificate kahramaa 1 day No charge
Obtain final cadastral measurements of the warehouse at the Municipality of Industrial Area Municipality of Industrial Area This file includes: ⏻ Health and hygiene clearance form ⏻ Building drawing ⏻ Cadastral certificate 1 day No charge
Submit final records of construction project to the Municipality Municipality of Industrial Area 1 day No charge
Receive final inspection Municipality of Industrial Area 1 day Qrs.100
receive fire safety approval from the Civil Defense Department Municipality of Industrial Area This approval also includes certificate of fire and panic safety and inspection certificate 3 days No charge
Obtain certificate of completion from Municipality Municipality of Industrial Area There is a one-stop shop at the Buildings Permit section of the Municipality of Industrial Area. This one-stop shop is responsible for internal approvals related to completion of the building project. Representatives from the planning, engineering, services and building control departments are available in a single window. Contractors visit this single window asking for the above five approvals. It takes 3 days to obtain these approvals from the same window. There is only one interaction between the contractor and the MIA in this step. Every other interaction that takes place within the three-day period is internal within the one stop shop staff members 3 days No charge
Register the building at the Municipality Municipality of Industrial Area The Municipality of Industrial Area submits all data online and updates the database on a perpetual basis. Silence-is-consent rules apply in this procedure. Most people do not use the electronic database because they find the process faster when it is manual. 1 day No charge
* Obtain electricity connection from Kahramaa Kahramaa The following documents are required to obtain an electricity connection Building Completion Certificate in order to activate the electric supply: ⏻ Copy of Building Permit. ⏻ One set of approved Building Permit drawings. ⏻ Copy of Policy Plan. ⏻ ‘Meter Card’ form complete with KAHRAMAA approved contractor’s stamp and signature. ⏻ ‘Service Note’ form complete with KAHRAMAA approved contractor’s stamp and signature. ⏻ Copy of Identification Card. ⏻ Copy of the ‘Land Deed’. 30 days Qrs.20
* Obtain water and sewage connection from Kahramaa Kahramaa 5 days Qrs.20
* Obtain telephone connection from Qtel Qtel 15 days Qrs.220
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

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Building Licences Section

The competences of the Building Licenses Section are as follows:

  • Receive applications for construction, maintenance, and destruction licenses, and work on issuing them.
  • Receive applications for work completion certificates, and work on issuing them.
  • Control buildings under construction to ensure that the construction is conducted according to the licenses and designs accredited by the Municipality, and take appropriate measures against violators.

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Qatar Civil Defence Department

Among the above requirements for those wishing to occupy buildings, are the obtaining of clearances and a Fire Safety Approval Certificate from the relevant authority, in this case, the Qatar Civil Defence Department.

The ‘Extinguishing Police Section’ was created in 1955, its name being changed to the ‘Civil Defence Department’ in 1991 and amended to the ‘General Directorate of Civil Defence’ in 2005. From the website of the Ministry of the Interior, it appears that the ‘General Directorate of Civil Defence’ is also known as the ‘Qatar Civil Defence Department’.

The Directorate has a wide remit in safeguarding the State, among which are those of studying designs and inspecting premises in order to protect those occupying or moving in and around buildings. To this end the Ministry makes available a variety of forms to be used by those designing or changing the use of buildings as well as covering those in charge of aspects of site and equipment fire safety. These include a:

  • Consultation application form,
  • Fire safety plan application form,
  • Modification or waiver of fire safety application form,
  • Engineer / technician approval form,
  • Engineering sketch approval form,
  • Dangerous materials license application form,
  • Commercial license application form,
  • Buildings and establishments examination form,
  • Safety and extinguishing companies and establishments qualifying form,
  • Gas card renewal form, and
  • List of equipments and companies executing the civil defense works,

all of which are in Arabic except for the first three forms, which are in English.

As an aside it is interesting to note that of the fire-related accidents recorded in 2010, half were related to residential accommodation, a sixth to vehicles and half that to commercial premises. And, while 90% of causes were unknown, 10% were attributed to electric shock.

A building under construction in Doha

As noted in the construction permission process set out above, the plans of a project are reviewed for compliance and comments made. Assuming that the plans meet the requirements of the Directorate, a letter entitled ‘Notice of Approval’ is issued with a proviso stating that the approval may be revoked if the plans are subsequently found to contain any non-compliance.

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Qatar Standards – building materials

In the meantime, and in response to Law no. 16 of 2002, Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology was established with a writ to produce a set of Qatari Standards for a number of items, including building materials. This is being implemented:

In terms of quality and conformance, QGOSM issues conformity certificates to companies operating in industrial fields, namely, building materials such as ready-mix concrete, hollow and solid block, asphalt, tiles, sand washing and cement manufacturing, with a view to ensure their conformance with the approved standards, which helps boosting the eye-catching urban development by far underway in the country.

QGOSM attaches a great significance to laboratories, as it has initiated a modern set of state-of-the-art laboratories concerned with construction, chemicals, asphalt, soil and aggregates used in civil engineering works (e.g buildings and roads). QGOSM’s Central Laboratories and Calibration Department carry out tests on samples of construction related materials, aiming to verifying their conformity with the approved standards. The stock of representative samples received within 2003-2004 has totaled 10,178 in number, which mounted up to its highest ever within 2004-2005 when it topped 12,919 samples.

The Qatar National Buildings Specifications (QNBS) no longer exists and has been replaced by the Qatar Construction Specifications (QCS), Third Edition 2007, a copy of which is available for Qrs.500. Engineering offices are required to have a controlled copy for reference. I understand that an updated version is to be published some time in or following 2010. The specifications are mandatory on all state projects as of the beginning of 2008, per Ministerial decision No. 155.

A related and necessary document, the Qatar Highway Design Manual (QHDM) can be obtained from Ashghal at a cost of Qrs.2,500.

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The rationale behind standards

In many countries building regulations are, in effect, a demonstration of political intent. This is true, for instance, of the United Kingdom where the government wishes to improve the quality of building stock, very much a problem in a country where there is an insufficient supply of housing. In the United States, by contrast, there is now a national set of standards, the International Building Code, though as a general rule it is the insurance industry that regulates buildings.

Historically, national building regulations have come about through the desire of governments to safeguard the health of their citizens. In the main, regulations have developed from sanitary and fire requirements. For this reason details of drains, the provision of sanitary facilities, escape routes in the event of fire, the containment of fire, and the sizing of windows and rooms have become highly defined. They have also had added to them elements that stem from military and police requirements such as Hausmann’s Paris boulevards being wide enough to swing a gun-carriage round. In this process the principles relating to the enjoyment of buildings in a wider sense have often been forgotten. To some extent this might still be argued as being true as regulations become increasingly prescriptive.

It is a truism that poor building standards produce poor buildings. Such standards reduce protection and opportunity to their users, represent poor value for clients’ money, are a waste of scarce resources, and require more intensive maintenance than is warranted.

With the United Kingdom becoming a part of the European Community there became a need to ‘harmonise’, as it was termed, the regulations throughout the community. With the European Community incorporating countries at different stages of development both nationally and in terms of their regulations and codes, as well as a wide range of environmental conditions, there was obviously a need to establish areas of commonality.

Each of the countries in Europe developed different laws and regulations governing building. European Union common principles, termed ‘Essential Requirements’, have been imposed which must be satisfied by any goods on the market. This requires either the manufacturer or an independent body to guarantee conformity of a range of groups of products. But there are still technical barriers. Some member states have detailed building regulations, such as the United Kingdom, and others have mandatory product specification, for instance, Germany, although the United Kingdom has the latter on certain products such as insulated cavity fill and pressurised hot water storage. Other countries have national specifications, such as Italy, or public client body specifications, such as France, that are widely used.

The European Union developed an approach to the protection of buildings by defining six essential requirements under their Directive on Construction Products:

  • mechanical resistance and stability,
  • safety in case of fire,
  • hygiene, health and the environment,
  • safety in use,
  • protection against noise, and
  • energy economy and heat retention.

The criteria set out in these requirements appear to be extremely general; however, the ramifications of their acceptance into legislation go far.

In addition to the work of the European Community, the United Nations have, since the early 1970s, been working on the harmonisation of the technical content of national building standards. To this end they produced a document containing significant provisions: The Economic Commission for Europe, or ECE Compendium of Model Provisions for Building Regulations, 1991. The concerns were similar to the Essential Requirements of the European Community although the structure differs slightly:

  • safety,
  • hygiene,
  • comfort,
  • energy conservation, and
  • dimensions and equipment of buildings.

Like the European Community’s Essential Requirements, the ECE Compendium sets out a framework which defines the requirements a building has to satisfy, thereby facilitating the production of prescriptive regulations. The essential concept is one that defines which physical properties a building and its components should have regardless of the type of materials out of which it is made. It is considered that emphasis of this approach is paramount to a better understanding by designers of their role in the creation of the spaces within and around which people carry out the functions of their daily lives.

Approved Document L2A – Conservation of Fuel and Power in new buildings other than dwellings

In the United Kingdom, the Building Regulations now cover a wide range of subjects. There appears to be an effort being made to create less prescriptive regulations but widen their scope. There is a particular concern to save energy, make wider provision for recylcling water, make buildings safer in the event of fire, and provide wider access to those with disability. At the beginning of 2010 they were structured as:

  • Part A – Structure,
  • Part B – Fire safety,
  • Part C – Site preparation and resistance to moisture,
  • Part D – Toxic substances,
  • Part E – Sound insulation,
  • Part F – Ventilation,
  • Part G – Hygiene,
  • Part H – Drainage and waste disposal,
  • Part J – Combustion appliances and fuel storage,
  • Part K – Protection from falling, collision and impact,
  • Part L – Conservation of fuel and power,
  • Part M – Disabled access to and use of buildings,
  • Part N – Glazing,
  • Part P – Electrical safety, and
  • Regulation 7 – Materials and workmanship,

and are set out here not as a recommendation or suggestion that this is the way Qatari regulations should be approached, but only in order that you might have a little understanding of the scope of one country’s regulatory approach.

What is not apparent from this simple list is the manner in which the regulations are changing to take account of experience, concern for the control of energy, and the need to reduce deaths and injuries in and around buildings.

Health and safety are two related areas where governments are increasingly active in promoting materials, designs and practices that will safeguard their citizens. With this there are an increasing number of bodies researching, producing and policing the requirements emanating from these concerns. While it is sensible to have concern for health and safety, there are concerns for the change in practices that will develop, and the possible requirement for retro-fitting that will be brought about.

For example, in the United Kingdom there was for years a requirement to ventilate buildings permanently, a concern brought about by mould growth and its effects both on building materials as well as the health of occupants. Now the concern is to insulate and seal buildings to be as air-tight as possible and use controlled ventilation systems both to provide a healthy environment for those in the buildings, but also to optimise or minimise the use of energy in the heating and cooling of buildings. The latest initiative with regard to danger is to make it impossible for people to be scalded from hot water taps. As an aside, tt should also be noted that it will be a requirement that houses will be designed to reflect the use of 125 litres of water per person per day.

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Green regulations

As mentioned above, for some time now there have been efforts made to design building regulations for Qatar. A number of laws have been promulgated and, from them, a variety of regulations published by different agencies. Regrettably, these do not fall into a coherent collection, but announcements have been made that progress is being made and that a green set of regulations will be produced following the institution of a Green Building Council. If or when this comes to pass it appears that not only will there be green regulations but also an advisory body to regulate and an associated inspectorate to check and enforce the green credentials of buildings on site. In this they are following the work of the United Arab Emirates which established both a Green Building Council and associated regulations in 2006 and, as such, should be well placed to learn from them.

more to be written…


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